Take the below quiz to see how much you know about Paediatric First Aid. Do you know as much as you think you do?
1)Why is it important that I check for breathing on an unconscious child?
2)Why do I have to tilt their head back to check for breathing?
3)What if I’m on my own and my child is unconscious and not breathing?
4)How hard should I blow during rescue breaths?
5)Do I have to give rescue breaths?
6)How long should I do chest compressions and rescue breaths for?
7)If I press too hard during chest compressions, could I break my child’s ribs?
8)What is CPR?
9)What is a defibrillator?
10)Will giving rescue breaths and chest compressions bring the child back to life?
- It’s vital to check for breathing because this will indicate how you should help the child. The response to an unconscious child who is breathing is very different to the response to an unconscious child who is not breathing. If a child is breathing, they need to be put on their side to help them continue to breathe – but if they are not breathing, they will need rescue breaths and chest compressions.
- When a child is unconscious, their muscles relax and their tongue can fall backwards and block their airway. Tilting their head back opens the airway by pulling the tongue forward. If someone’s tongue had been blocking the airway, then tilting their head back should pull the tongue forward, enabling them to breathe again. Sometimes, saving a life really is as simple as that.
- It’s best to top up the level of oxygen in your child before calling 999. If you are on your own, do rescue breaths and chest compressions for one minute and then call 999 – then continue rescue breaths and chest compressions until help arrives. Obviously, if someone else is with you, they should call the ambulance immediately.
- You should blow until you see the child’s chest rise.
- Ideally you should deliver rescue breaths if you are able and willing as this increases the chance of a successful outcome for the child. However, if you can’t give rescue breaths for any reason, just give chest compressions.
- You should keep going until help arrives or the child starts to breathe.
- The rib cage of a young child is very flexible, so the risk of breaking their ribs by giving chest compressions is actually very small. However, it’s important to remember that ultimately the point of doing chest compressions is to keep the child alive. Without chest compressions and rescue breaths before the ambulance arrives, their chances of survival are significantly reduced.
- CPR is the term used to describe the combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths. It is short for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a machine that can be used to shock the heart back into normal rhythm. Defibrillators are found in many public places, such as train stations and shopping centres. Once opened, the machine gives full instructions on what you should do. It can be used on children over one year old. If the child is aged between one and eight years old, use paediatric pads, placing one pad in the centre of the child’s back and the second pad over the centre of their chest.
- The aim of rescue breaths and chest compressions is not to bring the child back to life. In fact, the chance of restarting their heart by rescue breaths and chest compressions alone is slim. In giving chest compressions and rescue breaths, you are giving the child the best chance of survival by acting as their heart and lungs – buying vital time until the ambulance service arrives.
How well did you score? Would you like to learn more about Paediatric First Aid?
Qa Associates are offering a 2 day Paediatric First Aid course on the 18th and 25th April, see the website for more information on how to book.